1. Go for a Long Car Ride
I'm not sure about you, but joining me for car rides, whether to a quick trip to the store, or even better - to the park - are a common activity my dogs love to do. Maverick especially would get SO excited about car rides. He could go from being fast asleep to a full onslaught of energy in 5 seconds if he heard the rustling of car keys and the cue from me "Car ride!" Of course, this is weather permitting (never leave your dogs in a hot car!). Depending on where you live, Labour Day weekend is often a time when the temperature starts to cool allowing for more car rides with pit stops so this could be the perfect opportunity to run errands and spend quality time with your Heart Dog - a complete win-win!
So why not pack a bag of goodies (human and dog edible) and choose a scenic route to go for an extended trip. You can stop at various places (parks, hiking trails, dog parks, monuments) and take pictures, have snacks, and relish in the laziness and relaxation of the long weekend. Don't forget to take lots of selfies with your Heart Dog and share them with your friends on social media.
2. Make a Big Batch of Homemade Food for your Heart Dog
When my Heart Dog Maverick got sick, I was firmly told by a holistic veterinarian to make him homemade food. As a dietitian, this piqued my interest and I started to learn more about proper nutrition for dogs. Maverick (and Marti, my other loveable sheltie), gobbled it up like a kid in a candy store and their digestive activities (aka poop!) seemed to improve so I was immediately sold of the benefits. To this day, even with Maverick's passing in July, I continue to make homemade food for Marti. Each time I make a batch it's an adventure as I experiment with different concoctions but essentially you're looking to make 1/3 protein (ground chicken, turkey, beef, fish), 1/3 carbohydrate (rice, potato, or other grain), and 1/3 vegetables (aim for two colours like spinach and carrots). Homemade food is especially effective if you need to give your Heart Dog medicine. Marti needs to take a pill twice each day for her thyroid and 100% of the time it will be consumed along with her homemade foods compared to about 50% of the time when it's given with dry kibble.
3. Visit a new Dog Park
Making new friends is a favourite pastime for most dogs. For Maverick, this was definitely a top five all-time favourite activity, which is uncharacteristically sheltie-like (Marti on the other hand is a true introvert and prefers to make friends with her favourite pillows :)). Most fellow dog owners I know, have one (maybe two) dog parks in their community that they frequently visit, which is great because you run into people and dogs you know. For a new adventure, why not Google a new dog park to visit and make it a special outing with your Heart Dog?! It's a great chance for you both to meet new friends and explore new sites and smells. As a bonus, make a pit stop on the way home to your local pet store and let your Heart Dog sniff out their favourite treat while soaking up attention from the pet store staff.
What are your favourite Labour Day long weekend adventures with your Heart Dog? Please share and inspire us with your ideas.
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.